The study of the relationship between people and tobacco is of more than ethnobotanical interest; it spans many fundamental issues of current concern for anthropologists in general and for medical anthropologists in particular. These include topics such as globalization, transnational and state‐sponsored corporate capitalism, and the use and abuse of narcotic substances, as well as key scholarly themes such as material culture, agency, semiotics, intersubjectivity, and identity. Anthropologists offer fresh and engaging perspectives on tobacco in historical, contemporary, and future contexts. A useful heuristic for considering how anthropologists study tobacco is to consider research in this field across four overlapping domains. Anthropologies of (and in some cases for) tobacco as a product counterpoint effectively with anthropologies that facilitate and critique tobacco control as an exemplar of public health strategies that are structural as much as behavioral.
Russell, A. (2018). Tobacco. In H. Callan (Ed.), International encyclopedia of anthropology : anthropology beyond text. Wiley. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118924396.wbiea1661